“A situation in which two things happen at the same time and seem connected even if they are not.” Macmillan Dictionary
What do Peru and Germany have in common? Are they countries where we find people who want to bring down their government? Or – are they places with people who want to prevent the overturn of their government?
On Wednesday December 7, 2022 simultaneously in Peru and Germany there were foiled coups, each one with risks of serious bloodshed.
In Peru, President Pedro Castillo was ousted after making a public address to the nation stating he would dissolve Congress. This move was intended to avoid his pending impeachment due to charges of corruption. Since Castillo took office 16 months ago his administration has been described as erratic and chaotic, not able to face the serious challenges facing his government. The legislature had tried to remove him twice before without success, unable to reach the two-thirds required majority. However, after his public address on TV, Castillo was quickly ousted by a vote of 101 to 6 in the legislature.
Soon after charges were laid the authorities intercepted Castillo’s vehicle en route to the Mexican embassy where Castillo would ask for asylum. Castillo was apprehended, then taken to a police base where he is being investigated.
These actions have ignited violent protests from his supporters which have resulted in injuries and deaths. A state of emergency has been declared for the next 30 days by Castillo’s Vice-President, Dina Boluarte, who assumed command of the country.
At the same time in Germany, officials arrested members of a right wing terrorist group suspected of plotting to overthrow the government. This is a group led by a 71 year old aristocrat who believes that Germany is ruled by a ‘deep state’ that needs to be brought down and replaced with their own ideology. Armed attacks on a number of institutions of the state were thwarted before their violent actions took place. A number of plotters were identified and carried off to jail.
Political unrest such as these destabilize a society, and leave regular citizens to pay the consequences. This time we saw how government’s quick responses protected their citizens from falling prey to autocratic leaders.
For those of you who read my novel “When We Return“, or anyone interested in systems of governance and power, I wanted to share the current news from the locations where my story unfolds.
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